Fanfiction is one of the most natural expressions of creativity. See a piece of art you love? Explore it, transform it, revel in it, and create more of it for someone else to love.
Fanfiction harnesses all the joy and energy that comes from finding a new favorite television show, a new book, a new song and channels that love toward creation.
Then, by its very nature, fanfiction hands a new artist a full toolkit to work with.
Without fanfiction, a writer must get every piece of an original story in place before they’re even able to begin writing their first paragraph. Fanfiction lowers that barrier to entry and offers unheard-of writing support: characters, plot, setting, tone, everything a new writer needs to get started in one pre-packaged structure, ready to inspire, encourage, and bolster a new creative mind..
We want to bring fanfiction to the masses. We want fanfiction to stand as a genre of its own in creative fiction. We want fanfiction publicized as the best writing tool known to man and the most exciting way to engage in another person’s creativity. We think the world is better off with fanfiction in it and we want to bring fanfiction ever stronger into the world.
That means it’s gotta be easily accessible: easy to find, easy to access, easy to create, easy to publish.
We want to work on every stage of that, every moment of a new fanfictioner’s experience, until they’re confidently stepping through every corner of the fanfiction world we love and enthusiastically bringing their friends.
We want to say “Start here. Go everywhere.”
– Gwen & Ronnie
Our story started about two years ago. Really it started years before that, when I (Gwen) got sick with a digestive disorder that causes long bouts of crippling fatigue. Fanfiction was always something I buried myself in when even the mental upload of a new book would be overwhelming. After a friend commited suicide and I permanently injured my legs, I wrote 300,000 words of Harry Potter fanfiction. When my grandmother died, I turned to Sherlock. And perhaps not too surprising, when my digestive disorder began to cause frequent periods of memory loss and impaired brain function, I wrote Deadpool.
But my disease made it very difficult to access the fanfiction that had always helped me survive. I had to work very hard for ten minutes of focus and that was rarely enough time to find a fanfiction to read to keep myself going.
I started to care more and more about how difficult fanfiction recommendation lists were to find, despite how helpful they were, which primed me for the moment that my friend Ronnie asked “why not build one?”
Fanfiction has been an escape, an incredible creative outlet, and an unparalleled writing teacher for me. I wanted to share that with other people and see what it could do for them. And giving back to fanfiction makes my life make sense when otherwise I look at the few hours of productivity I’m given every week and struggle to find a purpose.
So that’s what we’re doing and why we focus so much on the word “accessibility”, because that’s what got us started and what drives us forward. We want to bring fanfiction to the world, the way it gave the world to me.
Gwendolynn Thomas began publishing fanfiction in 2010. Her historical romance Spinster's Gambit was published in 2015 and featured in Bufo Calvin's I Love My Kindle blog. In 2017, her short story Humans Wanted was published in the Sci Fi Anthology Humans Wanted, which grew to be #1 on the Amazon Bestseller list for SF Anthologies. She lives in Philadelphia with her best friend and her service dog Tofu and likes boxing, lock-picking, and researching obscure points of history for her novels.
Ronnie Deaver is a professional digital marketer, startup enthusiast, and business partner to Gwen. Hobbies include swing dancing, video games (Paladins, Smite, Hearthstone), and browsing Reddit for way too long. The Fanfiction Recommendations project combines his three favorite things in life... startups, marketing, and fanfiction!
Tofu - also called Lady Tofu, Moose, Sweetie, and Dogdog - is a service dog in training and set to graduate to full Service Dog status in December 2018. She likes hideous stuffed animals that squeak, anything rubber, and dried chicken strips.
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